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What’s your policy?

Are you inclined to not follow people on Twitter if their photo has a sunglasses and yelling woo-hoo look about it?

Embedding a Tweet

My name is Dan

I am teaching some journalism students some HTML/CSS at Eastern Washington University. Specifically, I'm embedding a tweet. Right here. Like below this. Can you see it? That's an embedded tweet.

Follow Friday

Sometimes I find Twitter accounts that are just too awesome to not share. Here are a few of my faves:

 

What are the benefits of having Twitter?

I had a friend ask me, “What are the benefits of having Twitter?”

When I first joined Twitter in 2007, I had the idea that it was going to be like MySpace, and all my friends were going to be on it, and we were going to the promised land of the ideal “social network” where everyone was connected and no one would miss any parties and life was grand.

That didn't happen.

What did happen is I gave up on social media in the great “Quit Facebook Day” purge of 2010. Within a month or two, I didn't miss Facebook, but I really missed Twitter. Turns out, it actually held value to me, so I reinstated it.

Every user has their own reasons, but here are the benefits I get from having Twitter.

Back to the Future - In Tweets

This is cool. Someone is tweeting the Back to the Future movie in real time. I love that movie.

Check it out: The Hill Valley Project

Twitter tussle tossed out of court

An Idaho judge has dumped a complaint by an Internet entrepreneur and former Wall Street analyst accusing the Sun Valley resort and Twitter Inc. of stealing his handle, the AP reports. Leonard Barshack contended that he wasn't trying to impersonate the resort by long tweeting under the name “Sun Valley,” but the judge disagreed; at the resort's behest, Twitter deemed Barshack's account to be forbidden “non-parody impersonation.” Barshack now tweets under the Twitter handle “iwassunvalley,” the AP reports; click below for the full report from reporter John Miller. 

Sunday spin: Inslee enters Twitter universe

OLYMPIA – It is impossible these days to criticize any experiment to merge politics with social media without sounding like a 21st Century Luddite, or at least some cranky octogenarian telling teenagers to turn down their music and get off the lawn.

Social media, after all, fueled the fire of the Arab spring and Tahrir Square. It eats dead-tree journalism for breakfast then orders a pumpkin spice latte to clear that “past its expiration date” taste out of the mouth.

So it is with some trepidation that I say the governor’s recent Twitter Town Hall was a bit underwhelming, at least from the standpoint of connecting state government and large segments of the population that don’t have regular access to the machinery of governing. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Widmyer For Mayor On FB, Twitter

Steve Widmyer's candidacy for mayor, in what is now a four-way race, has hit the social media. Widmyer, owner of the Fort Ground Grill, has started a Facebook page. Which announced today that Widmyer is also on Twitter. You can check out the Facebook page here.

Question: Has social media had an impact in recent local elections?

Twitter Trending, Facebook Fading

If you want to know social media, ask a teen. Better yet, ask a bunch of them. A group of Spokane teenagers who took part in a social media engagement project at Hoopfest – the Digital Street Team – agree that Facebook is fading and Twitter is trending. The team of 24 high school students was deputized to collect stories, photos and video at Hoopfest, and that material was posted to the event’s Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest accounts. Some of those teens, along with one of their social media mentors at Hoopfest, recently assessed the fast-moving social media landscape/Jody Lawrence-Turner, SR. More here. (Tyler Tjomsland SR photo: Jenna Carroll, 28, right, reacts as Chelsie Hadden, 22, shows her her phone while Liz Hooker, left, checks her phone for updates during a meet-up for social networkers last week at Boots Bakery in Spokane)

Question: How many of you have made the jump to Twitter or other social media beyond Facebook?

Portlandia producer drives through

So my BFF Bill Oakely, a producer of the television show Portlandia, and former writer for the Simpsons, breezed through Spokane this weekend and tweeted me this photo to prove it.

Oakley, you may remember drew my ire when he read my article about the wonders of Spokane in an inflight magazine and tweeted that he didn't think the city was worthy of a 20-page spread.

This is all part of my plan to lure him to my fair city to shoot a pilot of Spokanlandia. Next time, I've asked him to let me know ahead of time so I can at least take him to see our garbage eating goat!.

What would a TV-show based in Coeur d'Alene be about?

This struck me as funny

Someone on Twitter sends out tweets about one theme and one theme only.

https://twitter.com/AvoidComments

Idaho couple and Sun Valley in Twitter tussle

A Sun Valley couple who had been using the Twitter handle @SunValley for three years is suing after the Sun Valley Resort and the online service took the handle away, saying it belongs to the resort. Twitter told the couple that after the resort brought the issue to its attention, it determined that their use of the handle violated its policies as a “non-parody impersonation.” Click below for a full report from the AP and the Idaho Mountain Express.

Boise PD 4th-Highest For Twitter Fans

The Boise Police Department has been ranked fourth-highest in the country among mid-sized police agencies for its number of Twitter followers, with more than 6,300. The only other city in the region to make the ranking was Salt Lake City, which ranked 10th at 3,712 followers. “Twitter connections mean a lot to us, and it’s good to know that, judging by the number of followers, that connection means a lot to citizens as well,” said Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson. The chief said his department uses Twitter to “share urgent and important public safety information” along with safety-related community events, and citizens use it to interact with the department. On Twitter, the BPD is @BoisePD/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you follow the Coeur d'Alene Police Twitter feed (@cdapd) or on Facebook?

Boise Police rank high for Twitter followers

The Boise Police Department has been ranked fourth-highest in the country among mid-sized police agencies for its number of Twitter followers, with more than 6,300. The only other city in the region to make the ranking was Salt Lake City, which ranked 10th at 3,712 followers.

“Twitter connections mean a lot to us, and it’s good to know that, judging by the number of followers, that connection means a lot to citizens as well,” said Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson. The chief said his department uses Twitter to “share urgent and important public safety information” along with safety-related community events, and citizens use it to interact with the department. On Twitter, the BPD is @BoisePD.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police released the rankings today; you can see their full announcement here. The No. 1 overall? The Boston Police Department, with 314,232 followers. Of course, the numbers were taken on April 30 – two weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings. NYPD came in second at 61,633.

Twitter-verse kind, cruel to Zags

Athletes deal with something that athletes a decade ago didn't have to: Twitter. It's a barstool for fans, but the chatter there often reaches the athletes they're praising or ripping.

Gonzaga isn't immune to those tweets, so we checked in with 4-5 players to find out how they handle Twitter in a feature that ran on today's S-R Four Corners page. Here's a glance at the GU-Pepperdine game tonight. And there's a GU-related note in the Four Corners notebook.

—The coaching staff from USA Basketball's gold-medal winning U19 team last summer will return to lead the 2013 team, including Gonzaga coach Mark Few. He'll assist Florida's Billy Donovan. VCU's Shaka Smart also will assist Donovan.

Thanks to Twitter…

…and people tweeting things they overhear in their own homes…

A lot of people have learned what it's like to live with a columnist. 

Travel: Posting a filtered view of memorable moments via photo-sharing apps

   At a rcent media event, I watched as a friend showed another woman—a professional photographer—her latest post on her Instagram feed, the mobile application that allows anyone to take photos with a smartphone camera and then manipulate them, filtering to add color, texture, vintage graininess or even bizarre special effects, before posting online.
    
    “That’s pretty, but it’s crap,” the photographer said dismissively. “Those photo apps let people who don’t know what they’re doing take a bad photo and then ‘save’ it by adding special effects. It’s basically junk.”


    My friend laughed off the other woman’s dismissive and, to be blunt, rude, words and moved on.    


    I’ve heard that kind of exchange before and it always strikes me as foolish. Photo apps are creative toys, outlets for expression, not a threat to professionals. And there’s a reason they are so popular. A photographer with skill and the right equipment can take a technically perfect photograph. But sometimes technically perfect is just not real enough.


    It’s the same with words. If I were to tell you that recently, at the Peaks of Otter Recreational Area near Bedford, Virginia, I walked a trail to the top of a mountain on a 67-degree weekday in October, climbing until I stood at the overlook gazing down at a forest of hardwood trees that were no longer photosynthesizing, and then when I had seen enough I took the rocky path back down, you’d have a pretty good idea of what I’d done and where I’d been. But I wouldn’t have communicated in any way what I felt.


    But when I tell you that not too long ago, on what felt like a perfect fall day, breathing in cool air scented by forest smells of fallen leaves and woodsmoke from distant cabins, the sun warming my back, I climbed a winding, rocky, path crisscrossed by the roots of the gnarled trees that clung to the rich dark soil of the southwestern Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains and when I reached the stacked-stone overlook I stood still and silent as my heartbeat slowed, gazing out as far as the eye could see at a beautiful carpet of golden Hickory and scarlet maple treetops; when I tell you I stood there a long time taking it all in, acknowledging my instinctive reaction to the beauty of the season before turning to make my way back down the steep path, I bring you a little closer to my experience.


    I think that’s the appeal of Instagram and other mobile phone camera apps. They let us take what we see and paint the image with nostalgia, sentiment and other emotions.


    Of course, there’s a time and a place for artistic license. I carry a professional camera with me wherever I travel, and the camera on my iPhone 4s is surprisingly good. I shoot on both so I come home with a not just a photo suitable for traditional publication, but, because I love the creative flexibility, I usually post a lightly-filtered or focused version of the same image online on my Facebook page, Instagram feed and Tumblr blog.  One captures what I saw, the other what I felt. But what’s most interesting to me is the reaction many people have to a filtered image. They look at it longer, closer. Perfect focus, balanced composition, color and scale, draw our approval. But emotion, the “junk” so many deliberately remove from their work, draws us in.


(Click “Continue Reading” to see an unflitered view of the cover photo.)

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer based in Spokane, Washington. Her audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com
  

In Bozeman, Words To Get Fired By

After he was fired for dissing Bozeman Chronicle corporate bosses on Twitter, sports editor Colter Nuanez posted on Montana State Bobcats social media: “Well Twitter, my disdain for corporate America and my respect for the public’s right to know has gotten me terminated,” former Bozeman Daily Chronicle sports editor Colter Nuanez tweeted this afternoon. “No more Chronicle.” He elaborated this morning on the Bobcat Nation message board: “Well people, this place finally came back around to bite me in the butt. Because of my comments and opinions expressed on this website, I have been terminated effective immediately”'/JimRomenesko.com. More here. (Romenesko photo of Colter Nuanez)

Words to Get Fired By: This is one line from Nuanez that Chronicle Publisher Stephanie Pressly  apparently referred to, in commenting on the firing: “But you must understand that we are all handcuffed by money-hungry corporate f***ks who want to run newspapers as a business rather than an essential part to maintaining a free-flowing democracy.”

Question: Should Nuanez have gotten a second chance?

Baumgartner tied with Cantwell? Well, yes; but no

One of the dozens of e-mails in today's Inbox had this tantalizing subject line: “Cantwell/Baumgartner tied in Social Media Buzz”

A nice person from a public relations firm said she had some data on that race that might interest us: “According to a new media index from Temple University and LexisNexis, Maria Cantewell and Michael Baumgartner are in one of the tightest races in the country. The candidates are tied in social media buzz, as well as print and broadcast media mentions of the candidates.”

Wha-what?? as Scooby Doo might say.

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, go inside the blog.

Twitterless On The Palouse

John Blanchette's funny column re: WSU football coach Mike Leach's ban on Twitter:

John Blanchette @JPBlanchette

Coach Mike Leach has banned Washington State’s football players from Twitter. #ProblemsBabeHollingbery Didn’tHave

Generation Z @GenZCoug Who’s Babe Hollingbery?

Double Down @DoubleDownCoug

Does that change the point spread this weekend?

Cyber Stalker @CyberStalkingFan

My buds think the personal flotsam I find following players on Twitter means I hang with them. There goes my cachet. #40YearOldsWithNoLife

Cougar Crazy @CougarCrazy

Where will I go now to read crude, misogynistic hip-hop lyrics?

More here.

Leach Bans Cougars From Tweeting

Just one week after players were instructed by a professional about the dangers of social media, Twitter is no more for the Washington State football team. The decision was made Tuesday, coach Mike Leach said, to ban his players from the social media site effective immediately. “Quite frankly, if after today you see anything on Twitter from our team,” Leach said, “and I don’t care if it says, ‘I love life,’ I would like to see it because I will suspend them.” So, what prompted this decision? “Because I decided to, that’s what prompted that,” Leach said/Christian Caple, SR. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Did WSU football coach Mike Leach go too far in banning his players from tweeting?

Leach: No more Twitter for players

COUGARS

FROM PULLMAN — Just when you think it's another day at the office with the Washington State football team, Mike Leach announces a Twitter ban. Read on.

Twitter: Friday Funnies

Today my weekly wrap-up from the wacky world of Twitter includes: pig stuff, communication woes, debate summary, swearing and waking up. Not necessarily in that order. Friday Funnies.

Bad tweet from Obama camp on voter signup

The tweetster for the president — we're guessing Barack Obama is too busy to be sending these things out himself  — urged people this morning to fill out and mail in a voter registration form by today to meet deadlines. 

Fill in your name, e-mail address and ZIP Code, and it will direct you to a place that will supposedly let you do that.

If you are a would-be Washington voter, Don't Get Your Hopes Up.

The deadline for registering online was yesterday. The deadline for filling out a form and mailing it in was Saturday.

You can still register to vote, but to do so, you will have to go to your county elections office, in person, to fill out the form, sign it and hand it in. If you click through enough pages, it will eventually tell you that.

The other suspicious thing is the request that you supply your e-mail address, but not your physical address. Nothing tied to voter registration requires an e-mail address, because those can be as impermanent as a Kardashian wedding. Could it be the e-mail address is really for the campaign, and not for the process of securing voting rights for citizens?

Spokane Valley Rep Blocks Media

Spokane Valley Rep. Matt Shea must be feeling pretty low about “the media.” Shea — the same guy who pulled a gun on another driver in an apparent road rage incident and took photos of himself standing in his opponent's driveway — has blocked multiple reporters from following his Twitter account. Arts Editor Mike Bookey and reporters Daniel Walters, Chris Stein and myself have all been shunned from following or communicating with Shea on Twitter. Seriously, what did @Bookeyblender ever do to Shea? But it's not just us. Spokesman-Review columnist Shawn Vestal also says he's been blocked — and that Shea posted correspondence with Vestal to the legislator's blog. The Twitter blocking is only the latest talk-to-the-hand by the conservative legislator. He hasn't responded to a request for comment by The Inlander on any story we've called him for in 2012. (Daniel Walters did, however, speak to him in person during a February Ron Paul event)/Joe O'Sullivan, Pacific Northwest Inlander. More here. (Phantom Photographer photo from Ron Paul rally in Spokane this winter: Phil Hart, Matt Shea, Paul staffer and Vito Barbieri)

Question: Do you think this guy would fit in well as a representative for Kootenai County's 2nd Legislative District (Hart, Barbieri & Vick)?

Sunday Spin: Is Internet making politics better?

It’s not clear yet whether this year’s campaign staffs are hell bent on testing Marshall McLuhan’s theorem that “the medium is the message” or are so enamored with high tech that they think it’s the be-all and end-all of politics.
Last week, a member of Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna’s campaign went from paid staffer to suspended staffer to fired staffer in the span of three days. Kathlyn Ehls had typed messages into Twitter that called for Asian Americans to “learn English” and senior citizens who walk too slowly across the street in front of her vehicle to “get a wheelchair.”
Ehls had tweeted these uncharitable thoughts months before going to work for the McKenna campaign. But the recent college graduate apparently was unaware, or forgot, the cardinal rule of venting in cyberspace: things on the Internet have a nasty habit of living forever and surfacing at inopportune times. These did, last Monday, on Seattle blogs.. .
  

New media ways to get into trouble

OLYMPIA — All of the “new media” opportunities for candidates in their staffs have a downside, the Rob McKenna campaign discovered this week. There are now more ways to do something stupid, and get caught at it, and have it come back months later to bite you in the posterior.

So it was that Kathlyn Ehl, a policy staffer for the Republican gubernatorial candidate's campaign, had to apologize Monday for sending out Tweets that disparaged Asians and seniors, before she was on the McKenna staff.

Seattle area blogs like Slog and Publicola reported that Ehls had tweeted in January that Asians should “shut up and speak English” and in November that anyone so old that it takes an entire light to cross the street should “GET A WHEELCHAIR”. Not good for a campaign that would like to get votes from one of the state's largest minority communities or the state's most dependable voting block.

By 5 p.m., McKenna had issued an apology. Unlike some political apologies, it didn't include a series of equivocations:

“The tweets sent by a member of my campaign staff, Kathlyn Ehl, which were reported today were offensive and inappropriate.  I am glad to see that she has apologized for her actions.
The fact that she made the comments before joining my campaign does not make them any less hurtful to Asian Americans and the elderly. They were insensitive and wrong regardless of their context.
She has done the right thing by apologizing.  I am hopeful that she has learned a humbling lesson that will give her greater perspective about having charity in her heart when considering the challenges faced by others.”

Twitter CEO: “truckload of money”

LOS ANGELES – Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Dick Costolo said the short message social network has a “truckload of money in the bank” and would remain a private company for as long as it wants.

In an interview with Los Angeles Times staff members on Tuesday, Costolo reiterated that the company has no reason to go public.

The market for initial public offerings, especially in the wake of Facebook Inc.’s fiasco, has been weak. “We are going to remain private as long as we want,” he said. “I like being private for all sorts of reasons. It allows us to think about the business and the way we want to grow it in the small boardroom as opposed to being beholden to a particular way of growing the business, such as quarter to quarter.”

To what do you attribute the vast appeal of Twitter?

Tourism tweets tout Sandusky trial

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio tourism board tweet meant to promote a Father's Day deal in the Lake Erie town of Sandusky instead directed followers to news about the sex abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

 The tweet was sent out this week by the Lake Erie Shores & Islands tourism office. It included the hash tag “Sandusky”.

Hash tags are created by Twitter users to help others find tweets on specific topics.

Anyone who clicked on the “Sandusky” hash tag got the latest updates from the Pennsylvania trial, not the town known for its waterfront location and the Cedar Point amusement park.

Tourism office director Joan Van Offeren says they won't be using the Sandusky hash tag again until well after the trial ends.

Tweeter Atwitter Over Notoriety

When Spokesman-Review columnist/blogger Dave Oliveria started bugging me about Twitter, I scoffed at the notion that I needed any more social media in my life. Facebook already ate up too much of my time. Oliveria insisted that Twitter is far more valuable than Facebook when it comes to tracking and reporting breaking news. However, the only breaking news I usually cover is when I break a fingernail. Yet as more and more of my media friends started jumping on the Twitter-wagon, I wondered if I might be missing out/Cindy Hval, SR Front Porch. More here.

Question: How long will you resist the Twitter bug.